Patch 7.3: Feral Druid, Frost DK & Mage Changes

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This week's 7.3 build brings more class changes to Feral Druids, Frost Death Knights and Frost Mages.

Feral Druids

The initial round of changes can be found here.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

Short update for some changes in the next PTR build:

ThrashThrash will generate 1 combo point baseline - as an energy-spending non-finishing move attack, it feels like it should. The Tier 19 2pc bonus which previously had this effect has been changed to a 15% damage increase to Thrash. With these changes, Thrash is still intended to not be used in the baseline single-target rotation (not counting the effects of sets/legendaries).

Additionally, to help out Feral AOE a bit more, the energy costs of ThrashThrash and SwipeSwipe are being reduced by 5. (to 45 Energy and 40 Energy, respectively).

Moment of ClarityMoment of Clarity will, as an additional feature of the talent, allowOmen of ClarityOmen of Clarity's clearcasting proc to stack up to 2 times (and is now tooltipped). This should be sufficient with how the clearcasting procs are better spaced out in 7.3.

Frost Death Knights

In addition to upcoming Frost Death Knight changes we posted about earlier, build 24608 also contains the following:

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

I believe a few more updates actually made their way into the next PTR (some potentially still in progress):

--ObliterationObliteration now causes Howling BlastHowling Blast to grant Killing MachineKilling Machine, as well as Frost StrikeFrost Strike. This should help with feeling like you can use RimeRime procs without interfering with ObliterationObliteration.
--The overall damage buff is 21%, not 27%. Just a new estimate of what's correct to roughly account for all the talent changes. Rest assured the goal is to find the accurate amount by which the talent changes would hurt total DPS and correct for that, even before looking into possible further adjustments for class balance.

Finally, the L75 row is generally redesigned. The overall situation seemed to be that PermafrostPermafrost did a rather low amount of shielding, but was usually taken because the other options had so little use. Some of this might be a little preliminary, but the ideas on PTR are:
--PermafrostPermafrost shields for 75% of autoattack damage (from 30%).
--White WalkerWhite Walker redesigned to: "Wraith WalkWraith Walk cools down 100% more quickly anytime no enemy is within 10 yards."
--New talent Inexorable Assault (replacing Volatile ShieldingVolatile Shielding): "For every 2 seconds spent in combat without melee attacking, you gain a stack of Inexorable Assault. Each stack causes your next autoattack to deal additional Frost damage."
(PTR numbers might vary slightly from the above)

Both of the new talents are going in a direction we want to better explore on slow melee specs like Frost: helping to address time off target, without power-creeping general movement capability. Overall, sprints and gap closers are very prevalent on melee specs (likely too much so across the game), and it's been increasingly hard to deliver on slower, heavy-hitter melee archetypes. Most of that discussion is much longer-term, but I wanted to give some context for trying to resist the direction of having every melee spec use a short-cooldown sprint/charge, and try to branch out into more class-appropriate ways of dealing with the problem.

Frost Mages

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

Few quick fixes:
--Frozen OrbFrozen Orb should be affected by ShatterShatter
--Ice TimeIce Time should be included in the spec passive (0% anyway).
--EbonboltEbonbolt damage can proc procs (rarely matters much since most procs are RPPM)
--EbonboltEbonbolt and FlurryFlurry damage no longer log a second cast entry
edit: --Freezing RainFreezing Rain last 12 seconds, unmodified by haste. This didn't match its tooltip anyway, so I changed the tooltip, and I don't see any reason it needed to be affected by haste.

Quick comment:
It's generally right that Frost's mastery is very narrow (scaling-wise, essentially a % buff to FrostboltFrostbolt with a few quirks). The narrower a mastery is, the more potential problems with needing to attach very high numbers to it for stat balance, that risk interfering with the rotation priority somehow. It's become more of an issue in Legion, since the large number of added effects on the class (as with every class) means that FrostboltFrostbolt is a much lower % of damage done as it used to be. I'm not sure there's a short-term fix, but ideally FrostboltFrostbolt would be a more substantial portion of damage in the future in the first place.

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Both of the new talents are going in a direction we want to better explore on slow melee specs like Frost: helping to address time off target, without power-creeping general movement capability. Overall, sprints and gap closers are very prevalent on melee specs (likely too much so across the game), and it's been increasingly hard to deliver on slower, heavy-hitter melee archetypes.

So their solution to this problem is adding a talent instead of making it a baseline passive perk? This would make that  talent yet again a no brainer / must have rendering the other choices on that tier useless.

Allthough i like the fact that they at least TRY to look into the mobility issues but that is all they came up with? ToS hurts so much with all those movement heavy encounters as a DK... :(

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15 hours ago, Stan said:

Both of the new talents are going in a direction we want to better explore on slow melee specs like Frost: helping to address time off target, without power-creeping general movement capability.

Perfect.  Although the 2 seconds lost vs one stronger (yet already weak) auto attack...  it seems like it should be higher but I will wait and see how it plays out.

Edited by PatrickHenry

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16 hours ago, Ulathar said:

So their solution to this problem is adding a talent instead of making it a baseline passive perk? This would make that  talent yet again a no brainer / must have rendering the other choices on that tier useless.

Allthough i like the fact that they at least TRY to look into the mobility issues but that is all they came up with? ToS hurts so much with all those movement heavy encounters as a DK... :(

Well you have to take into account that this is a utility tier. Every class has a utility tier. This tier is definitely not a no brainer. For instance, why would you ever take ineroxable assault on fights like Goroth, Sisters, and Inquistion where there is very little movement. The talent would be close to useless. All three of these talents look viable, Assualt on Avatar, Mistress, Maiden, KJ, and potentially host; Wraith Walk for open world and world questing; and permafrost on fights like Goroth, Sisters, and Inquisition.

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The Mage discussion is a bit meh - not sure if I want a more Frostbolt focused spec at all.

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